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Remote Control Terminal Services RDP Session

I am frequently asked to allow access to our servers for 3rd party company usually trying to fix some sort of software issue in their application (the typical scenario.) Most companies tend to use applications such as GoToMeeting or Live Meeting which I’ve never really been in favour of. Recently I was told that in order for a new implementation to commence I would have to give a company VPN access to our network and Remote Desktop Connections onto the relevant servers.

On this occasion I decided to enable Remote Control of remote sessions on the servers so that I could see exactly what the company was doing on our servers. I’ve done this a few times before, namely back when I setup terminal services. After a little digging around I remembered the setting!

Note – These settings can be applied using 2 methods. One way is by using a GPO applied to the server(s) in question. This can be achieved by opening group policy and navigating to:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Terminal Services

Double-click the 'Set rules for remote control of Terminal Services user sessions' setting and then enable it. Now, in the 'Options' box select the desired remote control permissions and apply the settings:

gpoconfig.png

The other way is to manually change the setting on the server itself by opening the ‘Terminal Services Configuration’ Snap-in:

Start -> (All Programs) -> Administrative Tools -> Terminal Services Configuration

Now select connections from the configuration tree on the left and in the right hand pane right click on the ‘RDP-Tcp’ connection and select properties:

tsconfig.png

After opening the properties dialog select ‘Remote Control’ from the tabs at the top. Now change:

‘Use remote control with default user settings’ (the default setting)

To

‘Use remote control with the following settings:’

I uncheck ‘require user’s permission’ and choose to ‘Interact with the session’ so that I can take control at any time should I need to:

rdpsettings.png

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